Monthly Archives: April 2017

M-Step Letter from the State Superintendent

RICK SNYDER GOVERNOR

March 23, 2017

Dear Parent,

STATE OF MICHIGAN

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

LANSING

BRIAN J. WHISTON STATE SUPERINTENDENT

Beginning in mid-April, your school district will administer for the third year the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) to students in Grades 3-8. Like last year, the M-STEP will be given online to nearly all students and will measure current student knowledge of Michigan’s high academic standards in English language arts (ELA), mathematics, science, and social studies.

High school students in Grades 9 and 10 will continue to take the PSAT to provide schools, students, and parents valuable information on what students know in ELA and mathematics. It also helps students prepare for the SAT college entrance exam given to high school juniors as part of the Michigan Merit Examination (MME).

Students in Grade 11 will take the MME, which consists of a free SAT that also measures student knowledge on Michigan’s English language arts and mathematics standards, M-STEP science and social studies components, and a work skills assessment called WorkKeys.

Michigan’s assessment vision calls for the tests outlined above to remain in place during the 2017-18 school year. This vision, available at www.michigan.gov/essa, is designed to promote the goal to become a Top 10 education state within 10 years. Michigan Department of Education staff are working to put that assessment vision into place for the 2018-19 school year.

We want your child’s state assessment experience to be as relaxed and stress-free as possible. Your positive outlook and supportive manner going into these assessments also will influence your child’s experience.

Remember, testing is a part of learning. State assessment results do not impact student grades. They are designed to provide information on student knowledge and ability in relation to state grade-level content standards that identify what educators and employers believe students need to know and be able to do to be career- and college-ready upon graduation. Schools and district use the results for curriculum planning and school improvement initiatives that benefit all students.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

CASANDRA E. ULBRICH – CO-PRESIDENT • RICHARD ZEILE – CO-PRESIDENT MICHELLE FECTEAU – SECRETARY • TOM MCMILLIN – TREASURER NIKKI SNYDER – NASBE DELEGATE • PAMELA PUGH

LUPE RAMOS-MONTIGNY • EILEEN LAPPIN WEISER

608 WEST ALLEGAN STREET • P.O. BOX 30008 • LANSING, MICHIGAN 48909 www.michigan.gov/mde • 517-373-3324

Parent Letter Page 2
March 23, 2017

State assessment results also are the only measure universal to all Michigan students and provide an important snapshot of student achievement at a state, district, and building level. M-STEP testing time has been significantly reduced since its first year. Most students will spend no more than 4-8 hours total—less than 1 percent of instructional time—on 2017 state assessments.

We care deeply that students graduate ready to succeed in college or the workplace. State tests allow us to measure student progress in learning Michigan’s high academic standards and assess how well schools are teaching these standards in classrooms across the state. While we support parents in making choices for their children, there is no allowable way in state or federal law to “opt out” of state assessments. Students who are not assessed will count against their schools’ participation rate, leaving schools open to penalties.

The M-STEP web page at www.michigan.gov/mstep includes more helpful information for families. There, you will find Student Testing: What Parents Can Do to Help Prepare; and Michigan’s Education Assessment System, What it is, What it Means and What it Offers (complete with our Spring 2017 testing schedule).

Respectfully,

Brian J. Whiston State Superintendent

Grade 5 Vocabulary for M-Step

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/M-STEP_ELA-Construct-Relevant-Vocabulary_526868_7.pdf

affix

antonym

appropriate information

article

audience (as in writer’s audience)

author
author’s message author’s point of view blog capitals/capitalization cause/effect
central idea
characters
character’s actions characters’ relationships chart/graph/diagram/table clear language
comma(s) compare/contrast conclude/conclusion/

concluding statement conclusion drawn/drawing a conclusion

concrete details conflict

connect ideas – (transitions in writing)

convince
create definition(s)

describe/description/descriptive details/ realistic details

determine

develop ideas (evidence/ elaboration)

dialogue dictionary entry draft

edit effect

effective beginning /ending elaborate/elaboration of ideas errors
essay

event

evidence

example

explain

first paragraph

flashback

focus

grammar usage

headings

imaginary

infer/inference(s)/ inference(s) made

inform

informational paper/informational article

Internet

introduction

key detail(s)

key events

key point

main idea

main problem

meaning

mental picture (writing)

narrative

narrator notes

opinion(s)/agree/disagree

opposite

organize(d)/organization of ideas

paragraph passage phrase plot

point of view/view (point) pre-write

presentation

punctuation/punctuated purpose (e.g., author’s or speaker’s purpose)

purpose for writing (informative, opinion, narrative writing)

quotations/direct quotations/ quoting directly/quotation marks

reasons relationship report
research research question research report revise

root word

sensory details/language

setting

similar

skim

source(s)

speaker

specific/exact word(s)/ word choice(s)/information

spelling errors stanza

statement/sentence/set of sentences/pair of sentences/line

summary/summarize(s) supporting evidence/reasons synonym
theme

thesaurus
timeline
title
topic
transition words/phrases trustworthy source(s) verbs/verb tense/shifts webpage/website

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